Lesson 5: Properties of Matter II

Getting Started

In Lesson 4 you learned about particles of matter and and their different states. In this lesson, you will look more closely at the states of matter by focusing on what causes the changes and why some matter is in one state while another may be in a different state. Specific changes you will examine include melting and boiling point as well as density — the measure of the mass per unit volume of matter — and solubility — the extent to which one substance is able to dissolve in another.
Other properties you will look at include volume, mass, and weight. Volume is the size of a three-dimensional space enclosed within or occupied by an object. Mass is a measure of the amount of matter an object contains. Weight is a measure of the heaviness of an object as a result of the influence of gravity. Although these properties do not explain the differences in matter, each one is evidence of the differences that exist among different elements.

Stuff You Need

  • 3 irregularly shaped objects (such as small toys)
  • 3 plastic cups (kit)
  • calculator
  • candle wax (kit)
  • cube or rectangular prism (such as small block of wood)
  • heat source
  • large transparent container (such as a two-liter bottle with the top cut off)
  • metric measuring cup (kit)
  • Newton scale (kit)
  • permanent marker
  • ruler
  • safety goggles (kit)
  • saucepan
  • scissors
  • watch or timer

Ideas to Think About

  • What makes one piece of matter different from another?
  • Why does matter "behave" the way it does in different circumstances?
  • What patterns do you recognize with regards to the properties of matter?

Things to Know

  • density: a measure of the mass per unit volume of matter
  • solubility: the extent to which one substance is able to dissolve in another
  • volume: the size of a three-dimensional space enclosed within or occupied by an object
  • mass: a measure of the amount of matter an object contains
  • weight: a measure of the heaviness of an object as a result of the influence of gravity

Skills

  • Compare the physical properties of pure substances that are independent of the amount of matter present including density, melting point, boiling point, and solubility to properties that are dependent on the amount of matter present to include volume, mass and weight. (S)

Introducing the Lesson

In this lesson your child will look at some more properties of matter. The lesson will be split into two days. The distinction between the two days involves how the properties are classified. Day 1 involves an introduction or review of ideas that will be important to understanding the activities in Day 2. Although Day 1 will seem a lot like a math lesson, the ability to understand volume, mass, and weight cuts across multiple areas of science.

On Day 1, your child will examine properties that are dependent on the amount of matter present. These properties include volume, mass and weight. On Day 2, he will look at properties that are independent of the amount of matter present. These properties include density, melting point, boiling point, and solubility.

If you have not done so already, have your child fill two plastic cups with water and place the cups in the freezer. He will need the cups of frozen water for a Day 2 activity.
Web Link
Reading and Questions
Watch the video about the basic properties of matter (link provided) and then answer these questions.
Questions
  1. What is the difference between mass and weight?
    Mass measures how much matter is contained in an object. Weight measures the force of gravity on the mass of an object. An object's mass is the same everywhere; its weight would differ on the moon or on another planet.
  2. What is volume?
    The amount of space an object takes up or occupies.
  3. What is the formula for determining an object's density?
    mass divided by volume